Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teacher discipline, student witnesses

          The Canadian law firm Miller Thomson has an update concerning the potential need to call student witnesses in an arbitration over a teacher's discipline. Student witnesses might be necessary to prove case. The update highlights the practical problems faced by a school board in proving misconduct in a case involving student/teacher interaction without the student's testimony. In the award discussed, the arbitrator rejected many of the school board's claims, finding that they were not supported by probative evidence. The arbitrator noted "While I recognize the practical difficulties the Board faces in locating former students to testify in a case of this nature and accept that I am entitled to rely on evidence that is not admissible in a court of law, I nevertheless substantially agree with the Association that I should not rely entirely on hearsay evidence to support the essential facts forming the basis of the Board’s discipline in the circumstances of the present case."
Similar concerns often arise from discipline cases involving  customer complaints  or allegations of customer mistreatment.

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